It strikes me that roads in the Lake Minnetonka area have been scenic for more than a century, but have been noticeably on the decline with the increasing buildup of traffic (“Lake Minnetonka cities explore creating scenic byway,” Feb. 10). One small example: Tonka Bay has about 600 residential properties on the stretch of County Road 19 between Shorewood and Navarre. Traffic count there several years ago was more than 13,000 cars and trucks per day. Obviously, the bulk of this traffic is transient, not local.
Any success in building higher traffic volumes would no doubt trigger big plans to widen/straighten/level the road and make separate paths along the same right of way for bikes and pedestrians. In all of this process, you could expect some filling in of lake and wetlands, and the taking of some private property as needed. It could easily morph into a very costly project.
Increasing traffic for the exclusive benefit of a small group of store owners looks like a bad idea. I speak as a resident of this lake area for the past 53 years. We would all do better to keep our eyes on the prize: Lake Minnetonka. The lake is the star around here, and right now it is in bad shape and needs a rest.
LAWRENCE G. MURRAY, Spring Park